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Introduction

The Sun is the source of energy for most of life on Earth. As a star, the Sun is heated to high temperatures by the conversion of nuclear binding energy due to the fusion of hydrogen in its core. This energy is ultimately transferred (released) into space mainly in the form of radiant (light) energy.

In physics, energy is the quantitative property that must be transferred to an object in order to perform work on, or to heat, the object. Energy is a conserved quantity; the law of conservation of energy states that energy can be converted in form, but not created or destroyed. The SI unit of energy is the joule, which is the energy transferred to an object by the work of moving it a distance of 1 metre against a force of 1 newton.

Common forms of energy include the kinetic energy of a moving object, the potential energy stored by an object's position in a force field (gravitational, electric or magnetic), the elastic energy stored by stretching solid objects, the chemical energy released when a fuel burns, the radiant energy carried by light, and the thermal energy due to an object's temperature.

Mass and energy are closely related. Due to mass–energy equivalence, any object that has mass when stationary (called rest mass) also has an equivalent amount of energy whose form is called rest energy, and any additional energy (of any form) acquired by the object above that rest energy will increase the object's total mass just as it increases its total energy. For example, after heating an object, its increase in energy could be measured as a small increase in mass, with a sensitive enough scale.

Living organisms require available energy to stay alive, such as the energy humans get from food. Human civilization requires energy to function, which it gets from energy resources such as fossil fuels, nuclear fuel, or renewable energy. The processes of Earth's climate and ecosystem are driven by the radiant energy Earth receives from the sun and the geothermal energy contained within the earth.


Selected article

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The Texas Oil Boom, was a period of dramatic change and economic growth in U.S. State of Texas during the early 20th century that began with the discovery of a large petroleum reserve near Beaumont, Texas. The find was unprecedented in its size and ushered in an age of rapid regional development and industrialization that has few parallels in U.S. history. Texas quickly became one of the leading oil producing states in the U.S., along with Oklahoma and California; soon the nation overtook the Russian Empire as the top producer of petroleum.

The major petroleum strikes that began the rapid growth in petroleum exploration and speculation occurred in Southeast Texas, but soon reserves were found across Texas and wells were constructed in North Texas, East Texas, and the Permian Basin in West Texas. By 1940 Texas had come to dominate U.S. production. Some historians even define the beginning of the world's Oil Age as the beginning of this era in Texas. Read more...


Selected image

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Photo credit: Cooldude110
Pipeline transport is the transportation of goods through a pipe, most commonly liquid and gases such as crude oil and natural gas.


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Selected biography

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Benjamin K. Sovacool is Director of the Danish Center for Energy Technology at AU Herning and a Professor of Social Sciences at Aarhus University in Denmark. He is also Associate Professor at Vermont Law School and Director of the Energy Security and Justice Program at their Institute for Energy and the Environment. Sovacool's research interests include energy policy, environmental issues, and science and technology policy, and his research has taken him to 50 countries. He is the author or editor of sixteen books and 250 peer reviewed academic articles. Sovacool's work has been referred to in academic publications such as Science, Nature, and Scientific American. He has written opinion editorials for the Wall Street Journal and the San Francisco Chronicle. Sovacool is a Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Contributing Author. Read More...

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Quotations

  • "My administration is committed to a leadership role on the issue of climate change. We recognize our responsibility and will meet it - at home, in our hemisphere, and in the world." – George W. Bush, 2001
  • "While the Kyoto Protocol is a crucial step forward, that step is far too small. And as we consider how to go further still, there remains a frightening lack of leadership." – Kofi Annan, 2006
  • "It is going to be very difficult to keep temperature increases down to between 2 and 3 degrees centigrade [3.6 - 5.4°F]. We should work very hard to do that." – Nicholas Stern, 2006
  • "Halting global warming requires urgent, unprecedented international cooperation, but the needed actions are feasible and have additional benefits for human health, agriculture and the environment." – James E. Hansen, 2004

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